This week, Rhythm Planet showcases some good new cd’s worthy of wider recognition. We begin with the amazing African-Puerto Rican dynamo known as Africando, with musicians from 10 countries laying the clavé down with verve and joy; indie band Rhye has a nice produced sound and a great lead singer. Gretchen Parlato straddles the jazz and pop arenas, won a Thelonious Monk Competition, and her star continues to rise.
Ethiopia’s veteran Mulatu Astatke returns with an exceptional new album on Harmonia Mundi‘s great world music imprint, World Village; we follow that with a beautiful Mongolian cut that wowed the crowd at the Cannes Film Festival and which follows the lead of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble (the latter is now touring). Ralph Towner‘s new album is next, with guitar co-stars Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan. Brazilian stars Dori, Danilo, and Nana Caymmi have a new import album out as well. It celebrates their illustrious father, the late Dorival Caymmi, who created the roadmap of all modern Brazilian music. There’s some straight-ahead jazz from saxman Dayna Stephens, and we wrap up the program with pianists Aaron Parks and Keith Jarrett‘s new ECM albums. The Jarrett Standards Trio celebrates 30 years together this year, amazing for a jazz group; the new album celebrates music by Leonard Bernstein and Sondheim. To my knowledge this is Aaron Park’s first solo piano record; it is elliptical but seductive and gets better with repeated listening.
We’re keeping it eclectic and celebrating musical variety on this program. I hope you enjoy it and I always welcome your feedback, pro or con!
Rhythm Planet Playlist: 10/25/13
- Africando / Doundari / Viva Africando / Stern’s
- Rhye / Major Minor Love / Woman / Republic
- Gretchen Parlato / Within Me / Live In NYC / Obliq Sound
- Mulatu Astatke / Hager Fiker/ Sketches Of Ethiopia / World Village
- Andagai / Charge Bravely When War Alarms Raise / Harmony Ode To Heroes / Wind Music
- Ralph Towner, Wolfgang Muthspiel / Nico & Mithra / Travel Guide / ECM
- Nana, Dori e Danilo Caymmi / Itapoa / Caymmi / Som Livre
- Dayna Stephens / JFK International / I’ll Take My Chances / Criss Cross
- Aaron Parks / Reverie / Arborescence / ECM
- Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Gary Peacock / Tonight / Somewhere / ECM